Detarium microcarpum 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Fabales Fabaceae

Scientific Name: Detarium microcarpum Guill. & Perr.
Common Name(s):
English Sweet Dattock, Tallow Tree
French Petit Detar
Taxonomic Notes: Detarium microcarpum is sometimes confused with D. senegalense, a species with a similar distribution; however, D. senegalense has smaller and thinner leaflets, a lax inflorescence and larger fruit. Moreover, they are ecologically differentiated, as D. microcarpum occurs typically in dry savanna, whereas D. senegalense is more riparian and also occurs in dry forest.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2009-07-14
Assessor(s): Contu, S.
Reviewer(s): Hilton-Taylor, C.
Detarium microcarpum is a perennial shrub or tree which is widespread and common across tropical west Africa, occurring from Senegal to Sudan. The species is used by local people for many different purposes and as such is considered an important tree species in west tropical Africa. At present the harvesting levels do not appear to be impacting the species and many of the known subpopulations occur within the protected areas network. On the basis of the present knowledge the population is believed to be stable, therefore it is rated as Least Concern. It is suggested, though, that in situ conservation measures should be taken, mainly focused to ensure a sustainable harvesting level for the species to avoid population decline in the future.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:D. microcarpum occurs in west tropical Africa, from Senegal to south Sudan (Benin, Cameroon, Central African Rep., Chad, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan and Togo).
Countries occurrence:
Benin; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Côte d'Ivoire; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Mali; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal; Sudan; Togo
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:D. microcarpum is widespread and common in west Africa. Schmelzer and Gurib-Fakim (2008) stated that the density of the species in natural stands can be up to 270 tree/ha.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:D. microcarpum is a shrub or small tree up to 10 m high which grows in dry savanna woodland. It is mainly found on shallow, stony and lateritic soils and on hills (Schmelzer and Gurib-Fakim 2008). Flowering takes place during the rainy season and fruits mature from December to April.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Detarium microcarpum is one of the local fruit-bearing species most exploited in Burkina Faso. The bark, leaves and roots are widely used because of their diuretic and astringent properties. They are also used against malaria, leprosy and impotence.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): D. microcarpum is one of the species which is used in many different ways through all west tropical Africa; it is utilized for the timber, as fuelwood, food source (seeds, leaves and roots) and to treat numerous ailments (diarrhoeas, dysenteries, heamorrhoids, leprosy, syphilis etc.), but the species does not appear to be affected from the harvesting level at present.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known conservation measures specifically for D. microcarpum, however, the species is known to occur in many protected areas. Seed of D. microcarpum are held in the Millennium Seed Bank, at the Institut d'Economie Rurale (IER) in Mali and at the Centre National des Semences Forestieres (CNSF) in Burfina Faso as an ex situ conservation measure.

Citation: Contu, S. 2012. Detarium microcarpum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T19893027A20118071. . Downloaded on 24 May 2018.
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